Meet the New NYWIFT Member: China L. Colston

By Catherine Woo

Welcome to NYWIFT, China L. Colston! China is a SAG-AFTRA actress and award-winning filmmaker. As an actress, she has embodied emotional women, from the guilt-ridden mother in Strings Attached to the dealer in Sweet Thang.

China’s unwavering dedication as the star, writer, director, and producer of Dark Seed led the film to acclaim from the Validate Yourself Film Festival, African American Arts Alliance of Chicago, and the Dramatist’s Guild Success In The Arts Award aka SITA. She is the recipient of a 2021 NYFA grant for her script To Cook or Not to Cook, which follows a chef in Harlem repairing his relationship with his family through food.

China brings us through her incredible journey as a creator here!

NYWIFT Member China L. Colston (Photo by Christian Webb)


What brings you to NYWIFT?

NYWIFT has given so much to New York City and me. This organization has benefited me as an actress and film enthusiast with their film screenings and industry panels that have expanded my knowledge and contacts with like-minded women artists and supporters of the arts.


As an actress, director, and producer, what types of stories and characters are the most intriguing to you?

Characters that intrigue me as an actress, director, and producer are externally guarded with a gooey, vulnerable inner life.


China L. Colston (Photo by Christian Webb)


You’ve been acting for over 15 years. Were there any films or roles in particular that first inspired you to begin performing?

The films and or performances that inspired me to act would be Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams in Lady Sings the Blues and Mahogany, Adolph Ceaser in A Soldier’s Story, Laurence Fishburne in Othello,  and Theresa Randle in Sugar Hill and Girl 6.


You wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the award-winning feature film Dark Seed. What inspired you to write this film? What was it like to wear all these different hats at once?

I was inspired to write Dark Seed because I wanted to explore how guilt and regret can eat away at someone’s future if they don’t forgive themselves.

Wearing all of those hats for Dark Seed was a difficult but joyful journey. There were days I wanted to throw in the towel, but in those moments, I just took breaks. After a week or so, I would resume shooting because I would remind myself to keep going because I had a village of people contributing to it, and I knew in my heart I wanted to share this particular story with the world.


China L. Colston in her award-winning performance in Dark Seed


Do you have any projects currently in the works that we should keep an eye out for? What can you tell us about them?

I’m currently in pre-production for my short screenplay entitled Nefertiti, which is about how a social media influencer off-line life does not match up to her on-line life.

Additionally, I have a feature length script titled To Cook or Not to Cook, which follows the journey of a beloved chef in Harlem determined to fix his broken relationship with his daughter through the means of cooking.


You can find China on her website http://www.chinalcolston.com, resume site https://resumes.actorsaccess.com/chinacolston and on Instagram at @chinatheactress.


Catherine Woo

Catherine Woo Catherine Woo is an intern at NYWIFT and an aspiring screenwriter. She will graduate from NYU Tisch with a BFA in Dramatic Writing in 2024. She has interned at Rattlestick Theater and Protozoa Pictures. She has done production photography for PrideFest 2023 at The Tank and Broke People Spring 2023 Play Festival at NYU.

View all posts by Catherine Woo

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